Friday, July 30, 2010
Rogaki! Since 1928!
Rogaki we first heard about from one of my heros, Anthony Bourdain. His show No Reservations featured Berlin and this was one of the places that they went. A real old school German deli/lunch place. Since 1928 Rogaki has been serving up quick meals of Meat, fish and fixings. The place is shaped like big horseshoe where you walk down the middle and are assaulted by fresh fish on this side, smoked fish on the other, and meat meat meat galore, cooked, marinated, fresh. The bar of pickled fishes, and other accoutrement is easily 50 feet long. They locally source over 70 types of fish daily and and have every part of the pig or cow for sale.
I started off with a hunk of fried cod and a few types of potato salad. Both the salads were great German potato salads heavy on the vinegar and set off the fried fish well. One used a more creamy sauce and one less(I don't think most people get both) They do everything by weight at Rogaki so they weight your plate out charge you for the size of the fish you want and the weight of your sides. Mine came out to something like 5.50 euro but I saw another guy with a massive piece of fish and some mound of potato salad and I sneaked a peak at his recipt 12.65 euros! Now that's a lunch!
The next round was pickled fish! This is a herring fillet that has been pickled and wrapped around a pickled cucumber(sometimes called a pickel) that has been stuffed with pickled onions. This was a MASSIVE herring fillet. I really like pickled fish, and Jessie doesn't really, but for some reason she decided she needed to get two huge pickled fish rolls. The herring was quite nicely pickled still a bit delicate and actually Jessie said she wouldn't have been able to eat it except for the tasty pickle inside, it helped balance out the fishiness to a point where she could take it.
Now I'm not exactly sure what this was:
It seemed like they battered and fired a herring fillet, wrapped it around a pickel and some pickled onions and then pickled the whole thing again. Weird, yes, very pickle-y yes. Tasty... I guess so? but I wouldn't order it again.
Lastly, but certainly not least, we packed some smoked fish for dinner. Smoked Ahi tuna, butterfish, halibut and little tiny bite sized fish whose name I couldn't translate. The tuna was ok, but not worth the price, the halibut also wonderful and wonderfully expensive. The real treat for me was the very dirt cheap butterfish that lived up to it's name, almost creamy flesh when smoked, took on a lot of the flavors of the smoke and had a fabulous texture that seemed to thrive in the slightly drier condition that smoking brings out. It was by far the most tasty, texturally pleasing, and overall incredible experience. But it also cost about 1/5th as much as the rest of the fish! Sometimes you don't really get what you pay for.
I wish I wish I wish we lived closer to Rogaki so that I could have eaten my way further into the hidden delights.
In addition to traditional headcheese they had specialty seafood headcheeses. I didn't even get a proper sausage, or any of their meat products at all! They had yard and yards of special dips and sauces and mysterious creamy chunky things all written in German. Sigh, I think I need to go back to Berlin. Anyone want to hire an ex-Neuroscientist in Berlin to do non-researchy things?